SEOUL, Jan. 26 (Yonhap) — South Korea said Tuesday it will invest nearly 28 billion won (US$25.3 million) in research and development (R&D) projects for eco-friendly automobiles and self-driving technologies in line with the country’s green energy drive.

The country plans to allocate 13.4 billion won for research projects for electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell cars, along with 14.5 billion won for self-driving systems, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

The budget will be spent on a wide array of R&D projects, including the development of large commercial hydrogen cars.

Shown in the file photo provided by Hyundai Motor Co. is the Kona electric vehicle (EV). (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

The country will also study deeper into making batteries for EVs lighter to improve fuel efficiency, along with find ways to recycle used ones.

Other key projects include the development of self-driving mobile medical clinics and stores.

South Korea plans to have EVs and hydrogen cars take up 33 percent of its market by 2030, sharply up from 2.6 percent tallied in 2019.

The number of accumulated sales of electric cars and hydrogen fuel cell automobiles will also increase to 1.13 million and 200,000, respectively, by 2025. It will mark a sharp growth from September last year, when the accumulated number of EVs on roads here reached 120,000 units, while those of hydrogen cars came to around 9,500 units.